Business of Craft Brewing Certificate Program
About Business of Craft Brewing
While big name domestic beer sales have decreased, craft brew sales in the US continue to grow, capturing 12.7 percent of the overall market in 2017. With 6,000-plus craft breweries in the US today, a passion for brewing and a good recipe are simply not enough to thrive in such a crowded market. It is essential that craft beverage industry professionals who want to advance their careers, as well as home brewers looking to reach larger audiences by opening up microbreweries, learn about the business side of craft brewing.
This fully online Business of Craft Brewing Certificate program, taught by industry experts, provides the knowledge and resources for aspiring and established craft brewing professionals to develop fully actionable business plans to launch new craft breweries or optimize existing business operations. While brewing is emphasized, distillery and cidery business models are also included.
These courses gave me interaction with knowledgeable, in-industry instructors along with weekly lecturers that were well grounded in the current challenges of starting and running a brewery. This is extremely valuable and hopefully will reduce the number of startup mistakes.
- Michael Kuderka
Why Portland State University?
This program — the first of its kind — was developed in Portland, Oregon, a city also known as “Beervana,” the craft beer capital of the world. The instructors are not only deep subject matter experts, they also are widely connected throughout the craft brewing community and regularly bring in guest speakers to share different perspectives from around the country.
Who Should Attend
Established industry professionals, home brewers interested in launching their own microbreweries, and anyone interested in learning the unique challenges and opportunities of the business side of craft brewing.
Local breweries/distilleries/suppliers that have participated in this program include Rogue, Widmer, Migration Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Captured by Porches, Bull Run Distillery, Great Western Malting, JV Northwest, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, The Ale Apothecary, Country Malt Group, Craft Canning and Bottling, and The Oregon Hophouse, among many more.
What You’ll Learn
Upon completion of this program, students will have gained the knowledge to:
- Implement a fully actionable business plan;
- Create an operations and distribution plan;
- Develop a marketing and sales strategy;
- Understand regulation and compliance issues;
- Be familiar with best practices for tasting/taprooms.
Students can expect to spend approximately eight hours per week on coursework per course. Examples of this work may include attending live sessions led by instructors and guest speakers, watching video lectures, reading and writing assignments, completing quizzes, and conducting market research.
A few examples of breweries that have successfully launched after completion of this program are:
- Trap Door Brewery and Taproom, Vancouver, WA
- Postdoc Brewing, Redmond, WA
- Wander Brewing, Bellingham, WA
- Button Brew House, Tucson, AZ
- Augustino Brewing Company, Wichita, KS
- Intermission Beer Company, Glen Allen, VA
- Crasian Brewing, Brookston, IN
- Mountain Lakes Brewing Company, Spokane, WA
- Burke's Alewerks, Hanover, MA
- Rocket Frog Brewing Company, Sterling, VA
4 Required Certificate Courses
Courses may be taken individually and in any order unless otherwise noted. Four courses are required to complete the certificate. If pursuing the certificate, courses must be completed within three years. A recommended sequence is below.
Core Courses (Both are required, taken in this order)
- BB401: Basic Business for Craft Beverages
- Gain an understanding of the craft brewing industry landscape from grower to glass. This is a prerequisite for Craft Beverage Business Management.
- BB402: Craft Beverage Business Management
- Learn aspects of the craft beverage business from an operations and supply chain perspective. Basic Business for Craft Beverages is a prerequisite.
Electives (Choose any 2)
- BB403: Strategic Craft Beverage Marketing
- Explore market analysis, targeting strategy, brand development, and pricing as parts of an overall marketing strategy.
- BB405: Craft Beverage Distribution
- Learn the ins and outs of distribution as well as the dynamics of different systems for navigation through various tiers of distribution to get product into the hands of consumers.
- BB406: Pub & Tasting Room Management
- Discover best practices and how to improve profitability and customer experience in pub and tasting room environments.
- BB407: Regulation and Compliance for Craft Beverages
- Understand the essentials of where laws apply and how to conform to them.